Sunday, 26 April 2015

Something new!

Good morning from a grey and drizzly Tunbridge Wells - that's the weather, not me!

Yesterday I was back at my local craft shop in Tunbridge Wells - Pantiles Crafts, Coffee, Tea & Books run by the lovely Marshall family - Val runs the craft, games and gifts side of the business, Steve her husband runs the secondhand books side of the business and there son Matt runs the Daily Grind Coffee & Tea Emporium - if you are ever in the Tunbridge Wells area, it is worth a visit, you can spend hours just looking around, plus it is based in The Pantiles 

The Pantiles is a Georgian colonnade in the town of Royal Tunbridge WellsKent,England. Formerly known as The Walks and the (Royal) Parade, it leads from the well that gave the town its name. The area was created following the discovery of achalybeate spring in the early 17th century and is now a popular tourist attraction.
The Pantiles today includes a variety of specialist shops, art galleries, caf├ęs, restaurants and bars. The iconic tourist information centre in the main square was closed at the end of 2013 and replaced, in January 2014, by a seafood restaurant. It is now located in the Corn Exchange building in the Pantiles.

Anyway, a few months or so ago I noticed a few pics popping up on Facebook of Book Art and I thought how different and interesting it looked, so I did some surfing in the big world wide web and saw that it was really popular so I thought to myself "I want to give that a go" I know books are really special, especially older books and some are real collectors pieces, but lots and lots and lots of book are just sitting in peoples home collecting dust, thrown out in the rubbish or donated to charity shops so I think it is a great idea to actual do something with them - more commonly known as upcycling. So, I purchased a pattern from Etsy and tried it out on a paperback (works best with hard back books) the pattern was for a heart shape - nice and easy to start. When I got the patter, it was just a list of page numbers and measurements - it had instructions, but you had to use a ruler to measure 2.25cm and 2.2cm etc which to me was a bit of a pain. I did it and was quite happy with the result, but thought all the measuring was a bit of a pain. Then a few days later I saw that there Sarah Hallam of Peerless Designs was bring a CD of patterns to Create & Craft, so I set record on my Sky box as I was going to be at work. When I got home from work the day it was broadcast, I watched it - to say that I was blown away was an understatement - the CD was flying out the door. The technique that Sarah was showing with her designs was so so so so so so much easier and clearer - no measuring!!!!!! So I posted on the Peerless Designs Facebook page how amazed I was at how easy it looked to do. I have known Sarah for a number of years and have some of her amazing designs of stamps and CD's so I contacted Sarah about selling her CD's in some of my regular shops where I demo do workshops and I am pleased to say that she said yes! Sarah was also kind enough to create a new heart pattern that would allow me to teach the technique at workshops, which meant that when people bought the CD they would still get the benefit of the full content. Here is a small You Tube video of some of the finished designs on the CD

So, taking you back to yesterday, when the lovely crafty ladies arrived for the demo in the morning, I was playing with some of the new designs from Honeydoo Crafts and they automatically thought that we would be using them in the workshop - wrong!!!!!!! When I showed them the 3 samples I had made from the CD and said that they were going to be creating the heart, a look of horror swept across there faces!!!!!! I did chuckle to myself inside as I knew I would get that reaction! So, I had a great mornings demo with the stamps and also the Book Folding and whilst the ladies went off to lunch, I went to set up the workshop. Now being in the shop that I was in, finding books to use was not a problem - Steve had kindly sorted out some books for us to use and they were all the same - they were all stories by Charles Dickens and it was part of an incomplete set that was going to be thrown away.

So the ladies returned from lunch and I let them choose which story/book they wanted - although I did warn them that they were not going to be reading them!!!! Once I ran through the very easy and simple instructions, they were off - the workshop room went quiet as the concentration kicked in so I popped back up the shop to get some bits and when I returned, the room was full of laughter - they were reading bits from the books! As soon as I walked back in, it was like a room full of naughty school children had been caught messy around and it went back to silence! The silence did not last for long, as the concentration faded as it became easy to do!

I am really pleased to say that everyone enjoyed it, despite the fact it was not a card and it was something completely different - as usual I forgot to take a pic of the ladies with the finished results, but below are pics of the 3 that I have done so far

So I purchased some more books that were going to be thrown away so that I can work my way through the rest of the designs on the CD

Right, I better get going, off to a craft show in Maidstone to catch up with some crafty friends!

Happy Crafting :-)

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Out and about!

Today is Sunday and the sun has been shining brightly! Have I made the most of it? Nope, today has been a very relaxed and chilled day and I can't believe where the day has gone - well okay, the 3 hour much needed afternoon nap didn't help!

Yesterday I was at my favourite craft shop - Coleman's Craft Warehouse in Rushden which is in between Milton Keynes and Peterborough, just off the A45 teaching a group of lovely ladies various techniques on how to create backgrounds - it was a very messy day! Here are a few pics, although it doesn't look very messy!

Anyway, I posted the pics on Facebook and somebody asked where I was doing demos/workshops so I promised I would put some info on my blog.

Please note that dates are subject to change at short notice, so I suggest you contact the venue nearer the time - obviously I will keep you updated on my Facebook page as well!

25th - Pantiles Books & Papertole, Tunbridge Wells, Kent - a free demo in the morning 9.30am until midday and then workshop in the afternoon from 1.00pm until 3.30pm - please contact Val 01892 618191 for prices and availability 

10th - Poppy Crafts, 33 Victoria Street, Sheerness, Kent - an all day workshop. Contact Denise 01795 666976 for prices and availability

23rd - Pantiles Books & Papertole, Tunbridge Wells, Kent - same details as 25th April

12th & 13th - Clarity Open Day, Crowborough, East Sussex - 2 fun filled days of demonstrations from Barbara Gray and some of her design team - this is a ticketed event and costs £5 per day - more information HERE

20th - Pantiles Books & Papertole, Tunbridge Wells, Kent - same details as 25th April & 23rd May

4th - Coleman's Craft Warehouse, Rushden - Big Demo Day - a great place to visit for the day and watch free demo's from several demonstrators

11th - Pantiles Books & Papertole, Tunbridge Wells, Kent - same details as 25th April,, 23rd May & 20th June

18th July - Coleman's Craft Warehouse, Rushden - morning workshop and afternoon workshop - please contact Coleman's direct for pricing and availability

If you know of a local craft shop that is looking for a demo or workshop, then ask them to get in touch!

Happy Crafting :-)

Paul x

Monday, 6 April 2015


........... who need people
are the luckiest people in the world
we're children, needing other children
and yet letting our grown-up pride
hide all the need inside
acting more like children
than children

Okay, so some you will know that these are the words from my most favourite song, People sung by Barbra Streisand. The song has so many memories and meanings to me, but it also sums up people!

I am member of various forums, Facebook pages and this weekend I have come across rather unkind comments about other people. Now don't get me wrong I am all for people having an opinion, after all that is what makes us what and who we are. The internet and social media is now a big part of our life and some rely on it more than others for one reason or another which is great - I have made so many new friends/connections as a result. 

Sadly, when I come across these types of unkind/negative posts, it makes me think (yeah, scary I know, you really wouldn't want to be in my head at times!) that someone feels the need to be so negative as to shout about it in such a public place (the internet) The written word can be read in so many different ways, it all depends on how you are feeling at the time. I know that if I am feeling a bit low or grumpy, I will read something and feel grrrrrr and other times I can read the same thing when feeling happy and the sun is shining and I feel awwwwwwww. It is the same as watching a TV drama or a film, there is a few films that I can watch and feel really happy and it lifts my mood and other times I can watch the same film and end up blubbing like a new born baby!

Before I move on to things crafty and less deep, would you say the same thing to the actual person if you met them face to face? How would you feel if the same type of things were being said about you? This part of the blog has taken me nearly 3 hours to write, as I wanted to get it right, so rather than just blurt it all out, I wrote it out on paper first. When I look back at it now, this part of the blog has changed a lot, my anger has subsided and I am typing it whilst listening to the song. If you have never heard it, here is a link, crank the volume up, close your eyes and just listen to the words................

Okay, so now on to all things crafty!

Here are some samples from the Clarity Stamp TV show that was broadcast on Sunday 5th April 2015 on Create & Craft

This was my favourite card, I am really into the faux parchment look and I take my hat off to all those people that spend hours and hours and end up with a piece of totally amazing art, sadly, time is not on my side, so I choose the quick option - now when I say the quick option, this still took about 3 hours to complete. I used the spectrum noir pencils behind to add the colour - just love it!

Here are few more, can you tell which was my favourite stamp?

Well I hope you have enjoyed todays blog

Happy Bank Holiday Monday, Happy Crafting and Happy whatever makes you happy

Paul x